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Whenever I think of free-spirited fashion, I picture some of the greatest legends in the fashion and music industries—people like Stevie Nicks and Talitha Getty and the free-spirited hippies of the ’60s and ’70s. If you’re into the whimsical look, you’re in luck: we found more ethical colourful and flowy brands so you can achieve the perfect artistic and relaxed style.
What is whimsical fashion?
Whimsical or free-spirited fashion is an effortless and breezy style, characterised by long floaty skirts or dresses, loose blouses, boots, and bold (often floral) prints.
Often associated with artists, intellectuals, and writers, this free-spirited fashion style is also seen as an edgier counterculture, going against the trends, structures, and traditions of society.
This artistic “look” seems to have appeared in France after the French Revolution, but it really took off in the 1960s, alongside other countercultures, as young people tried to distance themselves from the growing materialistic mainstream.
Today’s free-spirited fashion is less of a counterculture and lifestyle, as mass media embraced this romantic style. In the 21st century, inspirations include the Olsen twins, Sienna Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch, and everyone at Coachella, really. Thanks to them, the trend has been revived with a modern twist and minimalist approach.
One fantastic way to stay true to the roots of the movement while also tapping into the timeless trend in your own wardrobe is to look for vintage and second hand gems that match the style. There are a whole host of online marketplaces for pre-loved fashion, otherwise pop into your local charity shop or clothes swap and see what goodies you can dig up for your next festival, summer event, or simply to add to your regular rotation.
If you must by new, we’ve rounded up some top rated brands doing beautiful, more sustainable flowy and floral clothing. Ready to channel your inner Janis Joplin?